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The Unique Seasonal Influence of the Interplanetary Magnetic Field on Martian Proton Aurora
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  • Andrea C. G. Hughes,
  • Gina A. DiBraccio,
  • Norberto Romanelli,
  • Michael Scott Chaffin,
  • Edwin J. Mierkiewicz,
  • Charles F Bowers,
  • Jasper S. Halekas,
  • Nicholas M. Schneider,
  • Justin Deighan,
  • Sonal Jain,
  • Jared Randolph Espley,
  • Majd Mayyasi,
  • Shannon M. Curry
Andrea C. G. Hughes
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center / Howard University

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Gina A. DiBraccio
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Norberto Romanelli
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
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Michael Scott Chaffin
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Edwin J. Mierkiewicz
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
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Charles F Bowers
School of Cosmic Physics, DIAS Dunsink Observatory, Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies
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Jasper S. Halekas
University of Iowa
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Nicholas M. Schneider
University of Colorado Boulder
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Justin Deighan
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Sonal Jain
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Jared Randolph Espley
NASA Goddard
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Majd Mayyasi
Boston University
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Shannon M. Curry
University of Colorado Boulder
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We evaluate for the first time the large-scale influence of the upstream interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) magnitude and orientation on Martian proton aurora. We identify a correlation between proton aurora activity and IMF magnitude that varies seasonally, with highest correlations around Mars southern summer solstice when proton aurora activity reaches an annual high. We identify preferentially increased proton aurora emission enhancements at IMF cone and clock angles consistent with the shape of the Parker spiral at Mars’s heliocentric distance. An increased proton aurora occurrence rate is observed for near-radial IMF orientations, particularly evident when the hydrogen corona and bow shock are annually decreased. Lastly, our results suggest that dayside magnetic reconnection may influence proton aurora, which are observed to have preferentially higher occurrence under strong ±Bz orientations. These findings enhance our understanding of the upstream IMF’s influence on Martian proton aurora as an important driver for auroral brightness and occurrence.
17 May 2024Submitted to ESS Open Archive
21 May 2024Published in ESS Open Archive